Nov 21

Stop: C0000218 {Registry File Failure} Registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE

Nothing is more frustrating than a Windows Blue Screen of Death. The Blue Screen of Death will keep your PC from booting and the messages are usually pretty cryptic. This message is no different. What it means is that the SOFTWARE registry key is corrupt.

Fortunately, the fix for this error is not as painful as the message would lead you to believe. The following steps must be taken to fix this error:

-Boot your PC from the Windows 2000 or Windows XP CD and go into the recovery  console by choosing “R”

-Type the following at the command prompt to replace your current SOFTWARE registry key with a repair copy.
ren c:\windows\system32\config\software software.old
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config

-Then reboot your PC.

If your computer is just part of a workgroup, you should be back in business. However, if you computer is part of a Domain, you may have to reinstall some applications and run:
gpupdate /force

This will refresh group policy. In any case the steps in outlined above should let you log back in to your PC.

written by MG \\ tags:

11 Responses to “BSD: How to recover from the Registry cannot load the hive”

  1. 1. AP Says:

    Instructions worked.

    Thank you

  2. 2. Bill Says:

    THIS WORKED BEAUTIFULLY. Thanks for sharing information and teaching others

  3. 3. lie Says:

    Thank you very much for your kind assistance and expertise. I hope you will continue to share your knowledge with us.

  4. 4. nAsh Says:

    wow cool, works perfectly… Thanks mate

  5. 5. Walt Says:

    day 3 of scratching my head, trying to fix this issue. I thank you, thank you.. it worked like a charm.

  6. 6. Danny Says:

    thank you very much this helps a lot and save us time

  7. 7. Domagoj Says:


    Thanks so very much! It is so much faster and easier than using official Microsoft procedure!!!

    Only thing that is not good is that i loose all personal data such as e-mail, documents and so on…

    You really rock!!!

    Domagoj, Croatia

  8. 8. Hdjdifn Says:

    Unfortunately it didn’t work for me. When the first screen pops up with my safe mode options, choosing ‘R’ doesn’t do anything. So then when I press safe mode or safe mode with command prompt I get this long list that says’ multi(0)disk rdisk partition /windows/system32…’ Any ideas?

  9. 9. Phil Says:

    Thank you very much. Just fixed a legacy computer at work with this.

  10. 10. Frank Says:

    Unfortunately, this re-set windows with a weird, almost fresh install. Some, but alnot all of my programs worked. My desktop settings went away, including files. Could not re-install MS office. It says windows installer cannot start. Went into services, but still doesn’t start. Going to have to do a complete reformat and re-install everything. Cannot load users in the control panel, cannot log onto my previous screen name.
    This was a really screwed-up procedure. But, at least windoze did start and I was able to copy and save all of my previous desktop files and settings.

  11. 11. Oz Says:

    You better use the official and complete solution:

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